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Coming back to the carob trees-story

In Crete, a true magic happened. By meeting Korina Miliaraki, we got the chance to learn about the great value of carob trees, which they are willing to share with us.

Thanks to Korina and a network of farmers and experts who are actively promoting, growing, breeding and cultivating them, carob trees are “coming back“ and bringing good to our common future. We visited Korinna’s friends, “carob activists“, old carob trees, and a carob forest in southern Crete. It became obvious there that carob trees don't need much water to grow and bear fruit, which can be eaten right off the tree. Carob trees can live for over 1000 years old and regenerate in a similar way to the olive tree.



You can take a 7-minute inside look at the importance of carob trees for our future.

 OR read/view it here 

I had a very special relationship with trees, especially one that we grew up with. I had my branch, like my home. The tree was my home, my second home, and one of the branches was my room and my place. I used to dream about being there, most of the time I wanted to be there. I felt that all the information that was around me came to me in a magical way when I was on that branch. I learned the world there. The tree was very alive, I had a dialogue with it because it was something more than a home. We created a very beautiful relationship. And another thing is that because I was always doing 'acrobatics', I felt that there was no way I could fall, because I had a relationship with a tree, the tree also helped me not to fall. And sometimes the people from outside would ring the bell because they were afraid to look at me when I was doing very difficult acrobatics when I was very little, and my mother would come out and people would say, "Please, your child is going to fall", but she would always tell them, "She is not going to fall, there is no way". She always trusted me too much, and my mother and my father too, both of them. I never fell.

I remember sometimes my grandfather was... I liked to see the shadow, I was there, and I was looking at the shadow when the sun was moving, and every moment was different than the other, because I was looking down and the shadows were changing all the time. And I had this feeling that I also have here, that I was moving with the earth all the time, but on the tree. We were travelling and the shadow was giving me this feeling of travelling. But I wasn't travelling alone. And I feel it very strongly here, in this house, too. But I'm here and all, we're moving with the house and with the tree in the universe. And if you have a very good relationship with the surroundings, with the environment, it is really very important. It makes you feel stronger, because you don't feel alone, you're part of the environment. And the environment, it has to do with... You are a part of it, and you all go together. I have this feeling of unity. It was very strong that feeling, very strong.

About the teacher - father

He was first of all an ecologist, before ecology existed. Because he was a chemist and he loved nature. He admired nature, the trees, the flowers, the rivers, the sea... He made me have these strong feelings about it and to feel part of it and respect it. He was against all the chemicals in the house, for cleaning the dishes, the shampoos and everything. He made everything for us to avoid all the chemicals. He was the first one to put up the solar panel and everyone was visiting us to see it. We had a garden and I loved the flowers. I had a very good relationship with the flowers and all the plants and the animals too. I loved them. He was the first one in Crete to make bottled wine and export it. At that time he had taken the prices from the French. (The factory is still run by his cousins).

I hated school. I didn't feel good. I always felt that I was outside the system, the education system. First I wanted to be an acrobat, then I decided to be a minister of education. When our teacher asked us what we wanted to be when I was six or seven, I said Minister of Education. And she asked me, "Why, my child, do you want to be..." and I said, "Because I want to close all the schools and make the next generation not suffer from this system, the school, than we have now."

So I decided to come and work with him and to decide what to do, to see. It's like giving yourself an exam, because you always have to come back to your place to see exactly who you are, after a period of travelling, learning, doubting. And then you have to come to a new battle with yourself.To decide who you are after all these experiences. And I came here and I worked with him. And then through that I decided exactly what I wanted. So that's why I came there. I found my centre.

What connected me to the carob was the carob mill, it was Panormos and the carob mill. I loved trees, I loved carob, but then what made me focus on it was Panormos, and then the next step was the carob mill and the carob mill told me, it was like telling me, this building, its history showed me the way to focus on the carob. It is full of memories, this building, I started from my needs. My need was for this building, it's very nice, to be restored and to be a cultural centre, because we didn't have any cultural centres on the north coast of Crete. Why not create a cultural centre here in a very beautiful village by the sea. It was my need and the need of others, and it worked very well, because people came from all over Crete for the many unique performances that took place here, or for seminars, and also from all over the world. Apart from cultural events, there were also conferences about the future of Europe, the environment... Many seminars, many lectures, congresses. People come from all over, different kinds of people, that's another thing I like. Connecting different kinds of social interaction. People from the cities, people from the countryside, shepherds, farmers and children from schools.

Why carob trees? Because the carob tree is a very important tree, historically, because it saved the population during the Second World War. It is important in very extreme conditions, historical conditions. When nothing else can help you, then, the carob tree appears and says, ”I will save you”. Do you understand? It is too important for me. And I felt as if I had a carob tree in front of me and I was talking to it, and I'm telling him – ”I feel that you have saved us and we have to do everything we can to give you back your lost value, to give you back your lost value, because it's too valuable. It has capabilities that no other tree has. And even in the extreme conditions of climate change, it can save us. If no other tree survives, the carob tree will. And there is something else. This is the only one, the only tree that also gives us flour. Not just sugar, but flour.

Part of the vision is to create the carob mill and, through the carobs and our efforts for the return of the carob, to become the reference point of Mediterranean Europe for the carob. To bring together all the countries of Mediterranean Europe for the return of the carob, to give it more value. I would love to create here a carob foundation for culture, gastronomy and research. And to have a festival here every year.

Manolis Loukakis, breeding expert

                     Kostas Karatzis planting new trees                                                                                                                                    

Manolas Iliakis is devoted to the cultivation of the land, he loves trees and although he is an architect/engineer and has worked in the public sector, he is first and foremost a farmer.

To develop a cultivation on the island, and not only on the island, but on the island because we're here, by giving the farmers the motivation and also helping them in their search, giving them the right information on how to cultivate, the right way to cultivate, what kind of carob tree would be right, and also giving them the motivation to create new products of food and whatever.

About "equality"

In order to survive, we human beings have to be serious and understand that we don't have differences, we're all human beings and we have to live equally on this planet, and we have respect the environment.

We have the same rights everywhere. And to stop all this moving of the population because of wars. So maybe you'll say that I'm a romantic but I'm very practical, very realistic.

 And in this effort the carob tree is going to help us, and I know it.

It is estimated that there are 33 million olive trees in Crete! And the number is still growing... A monoculture! Carob and chestnut trees, which saved them from hunger during the Second World War, are now the exception.

And one of the exceptions is Kostas' farm, where he has planted many young carob trees that are alredy giving fruit.

I'm trying to do my best and I don't have, as you put it, any expectations - "So I'm trying to do this so that tomorrow I'll have this result, otherwise I'm not doing anything..." I've been doing this all my life: trying, trying, trying, trying, because there's no other way. And if something good happens, I'll be happy. If not, I'll still try my best.

Kostas Karatzis is the great success story of Korina's dream to bring back the carobs tree. Kostas lives alone, but his enthusiasm, positive attitude and exceptional results are a great role model for others to learn and plant carob trees in Crete. He works for 10 and also makes products from carob - carob syrup (the best in Crete) and carob brandy. 

Corina on carob syrup: "My mother takes one spoon every day, every morning. This is medicine. And for me it's very important, because this carob syrup is not just made from carob pods, it's made from the whole carob and the seeds. The seeds have proteins.

Kostas produces all the food himself - from olive oil, vegetables, fruit, cheese, dried fruit to wine... And when he has the chance to host someone as he hosted us... A magical experience!

Something about the carob. AsI was trying to find out more and more (I'm always searching), I found a rabbi from 300 AD. He was living in Palestine. He lived in Palestine. So he was walking down the street and he saw somebody planting a new carob tree, a very small one, and he asked him, "Why are you trying to do this, do you think you're going to live so many years to eat from this carob tree?" and the man replied, "No, because I'm taking the carobs from another tree that my ancestors planted for me," and he said, "OK," and he walked away. And after a while the light was very strong, he didn't go into a cave, he sat on a rock, he slept, and then he returned. And on his way back he saw in the same place a huge carob tree full of carobs and somebody who was picking the carobs. And he said, ”Hey you, are you the one who planted this tree,” and the man said, ”No, no, no, my ancestors did it for me,” and he realised that 54 years had passed while he was sleeping. So I went crazy when I found it,  and then this rabbi, Honi HaMe'agel is his name, in another place, in Palestine, it has to do with carobs this time. I don't know, there's a connection.

The Portuguese have a saying: ”Plant an olive tree for your children and a carob tree for your grandchildren."

more > CAROB TREE PHYSIOLOGY: GROWTH AND REPRODUCTION BIOLOGY


Manolis Loukakis, a professor of agronomy, an expert in breeding, teaching, a great connoisseur of carobs, species suitable for planting and grafting trees, and of Crete.

Nobody knows, I could say, because sometimes, even if something looks very dark or very pessimistic, there are moments, but everything can be changed, so we have to try. And if we're lucky in our lifetime to see a difference, to see this revolution that I believe in, there are moments, but even the environment and human beings together, we can change everything. I don't know if I'll be so lucky to see it, but I can tell you that I've seen it, in moments on a small scale. So if I have this experience of seeing it in moments, that means it can be done, so in that way I am an optimist, but I don't know if I will see it in my lifetime. Everything is possible. Even what we think is impossible now can be possible. But it can only be possible if some people are in the same line, find a way to connect with each other and have the same purpose, the same goal. And even unconsciously, to have the same way, without knowing it, but knowing it, if you understand. Even unconsciously, because there is a social unconsciousness that moves things.

Manos Babionitakis, an inventor of the carob milling machine. Before him there was no one in Crete to process carobs into 100% carob flower, which was vital for all the carob crops. 

We are all the same, made of the same material. It's all clear to me. There are no differences. From north to south, west to east, we're all human beings. White, yellow, I don't know what...

>> next steps – carob trees

 I have a feeling it's going to save us again. This time in a different way. When I have a dialogue with a carob tree, it has too many secrets and I ask it. "What are your secrets?" I'm going to find out what they are.

The virgin carob forest in Southeren Crete grows where no other plants can grow. The trees are old, but still small, and they regenerate naturally.


 

When I finished the proposal to the Ministry of Culture to include the carob tree in the list of intangible cultural heritage, I saw in my dream that I was on the carob tree and we were flying all over Europe, all over Mediterranean Europe, together, with the tree. I saw this dream and after that it was great because I did my best to write the proposal and then I felt like "now I've done it, I've done something" and I saw this dream. And I was looking at all the countries of Mediterranean Europe from above, and I felt like I was in that tree when I was very little, but I was flying with it!


In the end, I found out that we can't do anything without democracy. It's not ideal, but it's the minimum we could have, and we don't have it. Only wars. We use it in a way we don't mean. This will destroy the globe, the capital.


Revolution is our attempt to exist. For me it's our attempt to... It's very difficult to explain. Because we do what the others, society, tells us to do. The thing is to decide what we do ourselves, to find ourselves and to create the future that everyone wants. We have to find ourselves.


Art and culture are the most serious weapon to fight aagainst all this lack of thinking. It is our weapon; we have no other. What else can we do, force somebody? No, we must convince them, touch them, so art is a very nice way to do that. Because it gets directly to the heart, not to the mind, the mind follows.



My father was the first ecologist I ever met, before the ecology movement, he was an ecologist, a chemist, and he loved nature. He was the one who introduced me to the carob tree when I was little. He loved nature and trees. He was a chemist, but he was very well educated in everything - philosophy, archaeology, history and everything. He gave me the first carob and said, "Try it, it's better than any chocolate." So I ate it and I loved it, I loved it so much, you can't imagine. From that moment on I always looked at carob trees with great admiration because he taught me "This tree saved the population of Crete from starvation during the Second World War", so I felt an admiration..


But this food, this is a superfood, it is better than many others and for me the carob is the future. As a crop, as a food, and it is also very important for its pharmaceutical uses, it's fantastic. It has many things. And now we've started to concentrate in the carob tree, in order to help it, support it and make it known in the consciousness of the people. It's the coming back of the carob. It is so important to understand that. So, I've done a lot of things - congresses, meetings... I asked the cultivators to come here, to the carob mill. We set up a new institution, a society, an association called The Carob of Crete, made up of researchers, academics, cultivators and people from the culture. We started with the university, because I'm pushing things too much, and now we've started research, very serious research, on different types of carob trees in Crete with the universities, because I've found the best researchers. Not only from the University of Crete, but also from Athens, from the University of Athens, from the Demokritos Research Institute and also from other different institutions and universities in Greece. In April 2019 we had the first congress, a Mediterranean congress at the carob mill, and people from Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Egypt and Italy came here. We started a network for the return of the carob tree in Mediterranean Europe, because it's a Mediterranean tree. And now we are preparing the new one, the new congress.


 

Sometimes I feel like I'm having a dialogue with the carob, but I feel that it has so many secrets that I have to discover. That is the most important thing forme. But I think it hides some secrets that I have to find , so we have a very erotic relationship. I feel that.

Yes, I feel that. But not now, for many year. I'm afraid that if I talk more, I'm going to…

Carob cultivation is ecological by nature, because it doesn't need what the olive tree needs. It's everywhere, they can grow by themselves, without anything. Of course, if you help them, they would be... You can help them by cutting the branches to see if they have any diseases and sometimes by watering them, because they don't need too much. It's an alternative cultivation during the climate change. This is the most important thing, because they are self-sufficient, everywhere, even in very high temperatures. They can grow up to 800 metres at the highest.

The planting of olivetres is still for many the solution for agriculture, even price for oil /L is low as ca 3 EUR for L and everybody complains since the threat of deseses growth and sprajing with cwemicals is a "must" . Ther is also a latent fear that some deses can be a catastropy for monoculture of 33 mio trees on the island  

Olive trees, carob trees... I love them both, but carob is the symbol of survival, against everything, all the extreme conditions. And that is more important to me. And you can't survive on olives, but you can survive on carobs. To survive with olives, we have to make olive oil, we have to have a process, but carob gives you directly what you need, that's why it saved a population. But yes, this is fire again, preventing fire. A lot of places would burn... It helps the soil to be stronger. I don't know, it's magic. It's something that nature created, it gives us this and I'm so excited about it. I feel it's my duty to do everything I can for it. I feel that way because it's a tree that nobody looks at, nobody focuses on, and I have to show everybody that it's so important. The most important tree.

It is a symbol of survival.

Kostas Karatzis farm is just over the heal of young olive growth. Carob trees don't need any spraying... Drought is not a problem as they can root very deep, even 15 metres... And the fruit is rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. It's a superfood and its use for health benefits goes back 4,000 years to ancient Greece..


As a culture, the Greeks, we have two different aspects, wings. One is Apollo and the other is Dionysus. So these two have educated us, we have been trained to be both of them.

PS: If I had money, I would have done a lot more. I'm thinking of making the first pilot film and then going to Arte (TV channel) or Greek TV, for example, and telling them this is the first one and if you like it, finance the others. Let's do it together. I have the whole scenario, everything.

The team of this story : Korina Miliaraki, Ida Glušič, Ivana Petan, BB 

Support the publishing of the next story!

Produced by MEDLand project/BB : photo, reserch, intervievs by BB, conections organized by Korina Miliaraki, WGO filming photos by Aida Glušič, production assistant Ivana Petan


Coming back to the carob trees-story

In Crete, a true magic happened. By meeting Korina Miliaraki, we got a chance to learn about the great value of carob trees, which they are willing to share with us.

Thanks to Korina and a network of farmers and experts who actively promote, grow, breed and farm it, the carob tree is “coming back“ and bringing good to our common future. We visited Korinna’s friends, “carob activists“, old carob trees, and a carob forest in southern Crete. It became obvious there, that carob tree doesn't need much water to grow and bear fruits which can be eaten directly from the tree. Carob trees can be over 1000 years old and regenerate similar to the olive tree.



you can lo-ok 7 min short inside view on carob inportance for our future

 OR read/view it here 

I had a very special relation with trees, especially with one  that we grew up together. I had my branch, like home. The tree was my home, my second home, and one of the branches was my room and my place. I was always dreaming how to be there, most of the time I wanted to be there. I had a feeling that all the information that was around was coming to me in a magic way when I was on the branch. I was learning the world there. The tree was very alive, I had a dialog with the tree, because it was something more than a home We created a very nice relationship. And another thing is, because I was making ”acrobats” always, I had a feeling there was no way to fall, because I had relation with a tree, the tree was also helping me not to fall down. And sometimes the people from outside were ringing the bell, because they were afraid looking at me when I was making very difficult ”acrobats” when I was very little.My mother was coming out and people said ”Please, your child is going to fall down”, but she was always telling them, ”She's not going to fall down, there is no way”. She trusted me, always, too much, and my mother and my father also, both of them. I never fell.

I remember, sometimes my grandfather was,....I liked to see the shadow, I was there, and I was looking at the shadow when the sun was moving and every moment was different than the other, because I was looking down and the shadows were changing all the time. And I had this feeling, that I also have here, that I was moving with the earth all the time, but on the tree. We were traveling and the shadow was giving me this feeling of traveling. But I wasn't traveling alone. And I feel it also here also, in this house, very strongly. But I'm here and all,  we're moving with the house and with the tree in the universe. And if you have a very good relationship with surrounding, with the environment, it is really very important. It makes you feel stronger, because you don't feel alone, you're part of the environment. And the environment, it has to do... you are a part of it, and you go all together. I have this feeling of unification. It was very strong that feeling, very strong.

about the ”teacher”-fother

He was first of all an ecologist, before ecology existed. Because he was a chemist and he loved nature. He was admiring nature, the trees, the flowers, the rivers, the see... He made me have these strong feelings about this and to feel part of it and to respect it. He was against all the chemists in the house, for cleaning the dishes, the shampoos and everything. He was making everything for us, to avoid all the chemicals. He was the first one who put up the solar panel and everyone was coming to the house to see it. We had a garden, and I loved the flowers. I had a very good relationship with flowers and all the plants, and animals also. I loved them.

He was the first one in Crete to make bottled wine and export it. He had taken prices from the French at that time. (The factory is still being run by the cousins.)

I hated school. I didn't feel good. I was always feeling like I was outside the system, the education system. At first, I wanted to be an acrobat, then I decided to be the minister of education. When our teacher when I was six or seven asked us what we wanted to be I said minister of education. And she asked me ”Why, my child, do you want to be...” and I said – ”Because I want to close all the schools and make the next generation not suffer from this system, the school than we now have”.

So, I decided to come and work with him and to decide what to do, to see. It is like giving exams to yourself, because you always must return to your place to see exactly who you are, after a period when you're traveling, you're learning, you're doubting. And then you must come to have a new battle with yourself. To decide who you are after all these experiences. And I came here, and I worked with him. And then I decided through this what exactly I wanted. So that's why I came to (). I found my center.

What connected me to the carob was the carob mill, it was Panormos and the carob mill. I loved trees, I loved carobs, but then what made me focus on that was Panormos and then the next step was carob mill and the carob mill told me, it was like telling me, this building, its' history showed me to way to focus on the carob. It is full of memories, this building.I started from my needs. My need was that this building, it is very nice to be restored, and to be a culture centre, because we didn't have any culture centers on the north coast of Crete. Why not create a cultural center here in a very nice village next to the sea. It was mine and others' needs, and it worked like that very nice, because people from all Crete came to many performances that were unique and took place here, or seminars, and from all over the world also. Beside culture events also conferences about the future of Europe, environment ..many seminars, many lectures, congresses. People come from all over, different kinds of people, that's exactly another thing that I like. To connect different kinds of social interactions. People from the cities, people from the countryside, shepherds, farmers, and children from the schools.

Why carob trees. Because the carob tree is a very important tree, historically, because it saved the population through the second world war. It is important in very extreme conditions, historical conditions. When nothing else can help you, then, the carob appears and says ”I will save you”. Do you understand? It is too important for me. And I felt like if I have a carob tree in front of me and talk to it, and I'm telling him – ”I have a feeling that you saved us and we have to do whatever we can to give you your lost value, to give you back your lost value, because it is too valuable”. It has possibilities that no other trees have. And even in the extreme climate change conditions, it can save us. When no other tree will survive, the carob tree will. And also, there is something else. This is the only one, the only tree, which gives us flour also. Not only sugar, but also flour.

Part of the vision is to create the carob mill and create through the carobs and our efforts for the coming back of the carob to be a reference point of Mediterranean Europe for the carob. Connecting all the countries of the Mediterranean Europe for the coming back of the carob, giving it more value. I would love to create here a carob foundation for culture, gastronomy and research. And every year to have a festival with festival here.

Manolis Loukakis expert for breeding 

                                                            Kostas Karatzis  is planting new trees                                                                                                                                    

Manolas Iliakis - is devoted to land cultivation, he loves trees, and although he is an architect-engineer and worked in the public sector, but most of all he is a farmer

To develop a cultivation on the island and not only on the island, but on the island because we're here, by giving the motives to the farmers and also help them through their searches, giving them the right information how to cultivate, the right way to cultivate and which type of carob tree would be right and give them also the motives to create new products of food and whatever.

(about ”equally”)

         In order to survive, the human beings, we have to be serious and to understand that we don't have differences, we're all human beings and we must live equally on this planet, and we must respect the environment.

       We have the same rights everywhere. And to stop all this moving of the population because of the wars. So maybe you're going to tell me that I'm a romantic but I'm very practical, very realist.

        And in this effort the carob tree is going to help us, and I know it.

The estimate is that 33 Mio olive trees live on Crete ! and number is still growing..Monoculture! Carob and Chestnut trees that save them of hunger in II WW are now an exception

AND one of exeptions is Kostas farm, where he planted many jung carob trees and are alredy giving froots 

 I'm trying to do my best and I don't have, in a way that you put it, expectations – ”So I'm trying to do this so tomorrow I'm going to have this result, otherwise I don't do anything...” – no. My whole life I'm doing this: I'm trying, trying, trying, trying, because there is no other way. And if something good is going to happen, I'll be happy. If not, I'll still try to do my best.

Kostas Karatzis is big sucess story of Korinas dreams to bring carobs back. Kostas lives alone but his inthusiasem, positive atitude and ekscetional results are a great rool model for others to learn and plant carob trees on Kreta. Alone he does work for 10, also doing products from carob- carob syrup (best in Kreata) and carob brandy 

Corina, about carob syrup. My mother takes one spoon every day, every morning. This is medicine. 

And for me it's very important, because this carob syrup is made not only with the carob (fruit?), it's made by all the carob and the seeds. The seeds have proteins.

All food from olive oil, vegetables, fruits chees, dry fruts, vine.. he produce himself- and if Kostas has a chance to host somebody as he hosted us ..a magic experiance !

Something about the carob. While I was trying to find out more and more things, I'm always searching, I found a rabbi of the 300 years after Christ. He was living in Palestine. So, he was walking in the street and he saw somebody planting a new Carob tree, a very small one, and he asked him ”Why are you trying to do this, you think you're going to live so many years to be feeding from this carob tree”, and the man answered ”No, because I'm taking the carobs of another tree that my ancestors have planted for me” and he said ”Ok” and he left. And after a while the light was very strong, he didn't go to a cave, but he sat on a rock, he slept, and then he returned. And on the way back he saw in the same place a huge carob tree full of carobs and somebody who was picking the carobs. And he said, ”Hey you, are you the same who planted this tree” and the man said ”No, no, no, my ancestors did it for me” and he realized that 54 years passed during his sleep. So, I got crazy when I found it, because, first () for another reason and then this rabbi, Honi HaMe'agel is his name, in a different place, in Palestine, it has to do with carobs this time. I don't know, there is a connection.

7 years. For the first, double of the olive tree. Olive tree- less years. That's why the Portuguese have a saying, ”Plant an olive tree for your children and a carob tree for your grandchildren”.

more>CAROB TREE PHYSIOLOGY: GROWTH AND REPRODUCTION BIOLOGY


Manolis Loukakis  a profesor of agronomy, an expert for breeding , teaching a great connoisseur of carobs, species suitable for planting and grafting trees and Crete

...nobody knows, I could say, because sometimes, even if something looks very dark or very pessimistic, there are moments, but everything can be changed, so we have to try. And if we're lucky in our lifetime to see a difference, to see this revolution that I believe in, there are moments, but even the environment and human beings together, we can change everything. I don't know if I'll be so lucky to see it, but I can tell you that I've seen it, in moments in a small scale. So, if I have this experience to see it in moments, that means that it can be done, so in this way I'm an optimist, but I don't know if in my lifetime I will see it. Everything can be done. Even the what now we think that is impossible, it can be possible. But it can be possible only if some people will be in the same line, will find a way to connect with each other and to have the same purpose, the same goal. And even unconsciously, to have the same way, without knowing it, but knowing it, if you understand. Even unconsciously, because there is a social unconsciousness that moves the thing.

Manos Babionitakis: an inventor of carob mill machine , before him there was nobady to proces carobs into 100% carob flower in Creta, wital for all that crop carob 

 We are all the same, from the same material. It's all clear to me. There are no differences. From the north to the south, to the west, to the east, we're all human beings. Whites, yellows, I don't know what...

>> next steps – carob trees

 I have a feeling that it's going to save us again. In a different way this time. If I have a dialog with a carob tree, it has too many secrets, and I'm asking it. ”What are your secrets?” I'll find out what they are.

virgine carob forest in Southeren Crete grows where no other plants can exist They are old trees, never the less small and regenarate here by nature. 


 

When I finished the proposal to the ministry of culture to be included in the list of intangible cultural heritage, I saw in my dream that I was on the carob tree and we were flying all over Europe, all over the Mediterranean Europe, together, with the tree. I saw that dream and it was great after because I did my best writing the proposal and then I felt so... ”Now I've done it, I've done something”, and I saw that dream. And I was looking from above all the countries of the Mediterranean Europe and I had a feeling like in that tree when I was very small, but I was flying with it!


Finally, I found out that without democracy we can't do anything. It is not the ideal, but it's a minimum that we could have, and we don't have. Only wars. We use it in a way that we don't mean it. This is going to destroy the globe, the capital.

 Revolution is our effort to exist. For me it's our effort to... it's very difficult to explain. Because we are doing what the others, the society is telling us. The thing is to decide what we do by ourselves, to find ourselves, and to create the future everyone wants to have. We have to find ourselves.

Art and culture are the most serious weapon to fight all these absences of thought. This is our weapon; we have no other. What else to do, to force somebody? No, to convince him, to touch him, so art is a very nice way. Because it gets directly to the heart, not the mind, the mind is following




My father was the first ecologist I ever met, before the ecology movement, he was an ecologist, chemist and he loved nature. He first introduced the carob tree to me. He was the one who introduced me to carob tree when I was the little. He was fond of nature and trees. He was a chemist, but he was very well educated in all the... philosophy, archaeology, history, and everything. He gave me the first carob and he said ”Try it, it's better than any chocolate”. So, I ate it and I loved it, I liked it so much, you can't imagine. From that moment I always look at the carob trees with great admiration because he taught me ”This tree saved the population of Crete during the second world war from the hunger” so I felt an admiration.




But this food, this is superfood, it is better than many others and for me the carob is the future. As a cultivation as a food and also it is very important as it has pharmaceutical uses, it's fantastic. It has many things. And now we started concentrating in the carob tree in order to help it, support it and make it known in the consciousness of the people, back, it's the coming back of the carob. To understand that this is so important. So, I've done many things. Congresses, meetings... I asked the cultivators to come here, to carob's mill. We made a new institution, society, association that is called The carob of Crete and consists of researchers, academics, cultivators and people from the culture. We have started with the university because I'm pushing the things too much and now, we've started to research, a very serious research, on different types of carob trees in Crete with the universities, because I have found the best researchers. Not only from the university of Crete, but also from Athens, university of Athens, Demokritos research institution and also other different institutions and universities in Greece. During the April of 2019 we had the first congress, Mediterranean congress in the carob mill and it was people from Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Egypt came here, and Italy. We started a network for the coming back in the carob tree in Mediterranean Europe, because it's a Mediterranean tree. And now we are preparing the new one, the new congress...


 



Sometimes I feel like I have a dialog with the carob, but I feel that it has so many secrets, that I have to discover. This is the most important thing to me. But I think it hides some secrets that I have to find what they are, so we have a very erotic relationship. I feel that.

Yes, I feel that. But not now, since many years ago. I'm afraid that if I talk more, I'm going to…



The carob cultivation is by nature ecological, because it doesn't need what the olive tree needs. It's everywhere, they can grow by themselves, without anything. Of course, if you help them, they would be... You can help them by cutting the branches, to see if they have any disease and sometimes watering them, because they don't need too much. It's an alternative cultivation during the climate change. This is the most important thing, because they are self-sufficient, everywhere, even in the very high temperature. They can grow on 800 meters on the highest.

The planting of olivetres is still for many the solution for agriculture, even price for oil /L is low as ca 3 EUR for L and everybody complains since the threat of deseses growth and sprajing with cwemicals is a "must" . Ther is also a latent fear that some deses can be a catastropy for monoculture of 33 mio trees on the island  

Olive trees, Carob trees..I love both of them, but carob is the symbol of survival, against everything, all the extreme conditions. And this is for me more important. And you can't survive eating olives, you can survive eating carobs. In order to survive with olives,  we have to make olive oil, we have to have a process, but the other one gives you directly what you need, that's why it saved a population. But yeah, this is again fire, preventing the fire. Many places would get burned..., it helps the soil to be stronger. I don't know it's magic. It's something the nature created, it gives us that way and I'm so enthusiastic about it. I'm feeling that I have a duty to do whatever I can for this. I feel like that, because it's a tree that nobody looks at it, focuses on and I have to show everybody that it's so important. The most important tree.

It is a symbol of survival.

Kostas Karatzis farm is just over the heal of jung olive growth -/img above/ Carob does not need any sprajing...drowt is not a problem since thay can root very deep even 15 meters.. and the fruet is hi protein , mineral and vitamin.. food -superfood and using it for health benefits goes back 4,000 years to ancient Greece.



As a culture, the Greeks, we have two different aspects, wings. One is Apollo and the other is Dionysus. So, this two have educated us, we have been trained to be both of them.

ps : If I had money, I would have done much more.  I'm thinking to make the first pilot film and then to go to Arte for example (TV channel) or Greek television to tell them this is the first and if you like it finance the others. Let's do it together. I have all the scenario, everything.

The Team of this story  : Korina Miliaraki, Ida Glušič, Ivana Petan, BB 

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Producedin by MEDLand project/BB : photo, reserch, intervievs by BB, conections organized by Korina Miliaraki, WGO filming photos by Aida Glušič, production assistant Ivana Petan

Enter your text here...

Posted by bojanb
a couple of months ago

Visiting -Svetac and Brusnik islands in Adriatic

 ..goving over the sea never repets 


Coming from the 2D world by default and continuing on the surface of the 3D world – the sea is exciting and never the same 

The destination is ahead, but being on the sea with the winds gives me the opportunity to be present and connected even more as ALL is ONE. This time, the 2D and 3D worlds merged even more, fish and sponges below and birds above were close neighbours!

These feelings also came to me when Neja Rojc shared this blissful time with me. Neja is deeply connected to animal kingdoms, whoever and wherever these animals are.

It was a simple visit to two islands in the open sea of the Adriatic. One is the small pure volcano island of Brusnik, and the other is the island of Svetac. It was a “call” to get to know the places and not the people. Anyway, no people were supposed to live here, as we were told beforehand. But there are actually 4 people living on Svetac.

My first impression when approaching Brusnik was WOW, such a crowded place with spirits dwelling in small and big black rocks scattered all over the island.

The rocks! Mineral & crystalline matter, the great body of Gaia lives and gives the heartbeat, the pulse we all relate to … In the middle of nowhere, in the presence of all connectedness, it was magic and much more real …

Get to know more about Neja: Terra Anima Society for Deep Ecology and CENTER KIRON

 


wherever- however-whatever we "do", we live traces, which are NOT forgotten BUT embedded  

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Released by MED Land project / film, photography, editing: BB  text editing - proofreading: Tadej Turnšek, godfather of the story Barbara Ćeferin

In between – handower…

The times in which we are living is...MEDLand project is...

In Between

The engine, the heartbeat of Nalu was handover to Drago..in Sučoraj, just 60km from Nalu home port but long enough to traveland meet Nikša, the archeologist from Sučuraj* and stop at the stone circle-new land art structure on Hvar island : 

 

THIS GEOPUNCTURE CIRCLE IS DEDICATED TO THE SACREDNESS OF LIFE. Erected at the end of May 2022 at the Stari Grad Field - Hvar island in Croatia, in the olive growth of Aldo Čavić. It is a creation of Slovenian VITAAA Art Group - creators: Marko Pogačnik, Marika Pogačnik ,Ivana Petan,Aleš Križnar, Nataša Hrast, Simona Čudovan.



 * Nikša Vujnović - does very interesting guided tours in and around Sućoraj! and you can find him in souvenir shop in port >< recommended by medlanders 

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Released by MED Land project / film, photography, editing: BB  text editing - proofreading: Tadej Turnšek, godfather of the story Barbara Ćeferin

In between-Nalu’s engine surgery 

The times in which we are living is; 

In Between

MEDLand project is;

In Between

The engine, the heartbeat of Nalu is also; 

In Between

HOW come? A dear friend, Japec Jakopin, who has cared of the Medland project's well-being from the very start; originally as a board/team member, defining the 'why, who, how, when & for whom' this project is aimed – and continuously helping to maintain Nalu – has donated her a truly prima boat engine. 

Without Japec and many others, this project would just exist on paper, and not in the water, crossing long distances over the sea to MED islands with Nalu.

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Released by MED Land project / film, photography, editing: BB  text editing - proofreading: Tadej Turnšek, godfather of the story Barbara Ćeferin

Natural space is fundamentally a free space..

Ivana Petan(the author of the story),

actively participated in the project many times and in many ways, from the very beginning and even before, helping to restore the boat, Nalu, that we are now using. She is a member of the core team. She expresses her creativity mainly in the form of ceramic art works, as well as with geomancy stone installations group projects.

As an artist, she participated in three MedLand-related exhibitions (1,2,3). As an expert in geomancy, she did her part in the story: a discourse with the island of Ikaria. On our 2021 trip, she did the entire observation of the places we visited. Her observations have left a strong mark, since so much is changing in the way we experience and bring into awareness our relations, especially with the land. The title of the project (MedLand) is about the land – the potential of the land, small or big, or the entire Mediterranean that changes through periods, along with our perceptions and relations with all other conscious life. Ivana's interactions go beyond, like looking behind the curtain :-)) 

Ivana Petan & BBimages

The present writing is a trace of this years' MedLand project. Visits to the agro-agriculture project Southern Lights in the Peloponnese, Zlatka, a Slovenian who has lived in the western part of Crete for more than 30 years and grows olive trees, and meeting a Cretan initiative for the revival of the importance of the carob tree were pre-planned. All other stops on the way connected the path into a semantic whole. The focus of this writing is not primarily on people, but rather on the natural space, seen and experienced through the eyes of geomancy. Natural space is fundamentally a free space; without names, borders, properties, coats of arms and flags, with its roots in the connection of different beings, forms, memories, wisdom, impulses, which with their unique breath co-create the harmony of life, approaching and distancing, with change as the only constant. In addition to visible physical materiality, nature also has its invisible energetic face: conscious beings who become visible through heart communication and intuition.




All writing is a personal experience of spaces I've visited: their qualities, the possibility of their connection and cooperation with each other and with humans, human contribution, and a presence of the impulse of the birth of some different world and existence in respect, co-creation and well-being of everything visible and invisible as a living whole.

The Ionian Islands. I experienced them as an energy door, a transition to the eastern part of the Mediterranean, which stimulates and significantly moves its whole. The Ionian Islands offer tempting gifts of the beauty of nature and people, of a friendly and decent life, as a lure to extend the journey to the

Aegean part of the Mediterranean,in which the rising sea depths potentiate everything else: the appearance of space, a sense of the elements, approach to life, its rules and myths that establish it, the determination and courage - not only for survival, but also for life. Due to its conditions and characteristics,living in the Aegean space of the Mediterranean requires deep perfection and awakens stronger emotions, decisions and binding promises.

However, before entering the Aegean Sea, rises another passage: the Peloponnese peninsula. A vast space of different landscapes and qualities. Although I have always respected it very much, it was only now that I slowly began to become aware of not only its width and height but also its depth. It proved to me to be the centre of the life energy of the entire Mediterranean. The Peloponnese being led me into its underworld that glows golden. Its core carries a balancing organ that appeared to me as a globe-shaped organ, incessantly dancing left-right, up-down, actively bringing and maintaining vital energy needed for power harmonization of the space, perpetually in motion. However, I sensed the blockage in the upward passage by a metal plate, and as a result, there is no cosmic impulse to cooperate with Gaia. Therefore, a balance organ is stopped in its motion, standing frozen and forgotten, speaking of forgetfulness of the crucial importance of natural space for human life, of their interdependence. Simultaneously, it awakens thinking about ways of active human change and establishing a new balance on the wings of cooperation and connection with nature, which enables respectful life of all human and nonhuman beings. I disconnected the plate and sent it into transformation into Gaia and performed a Tear of Grace for the Peloponnese. Like acid rain, a tear began to melt the metal plate. In its place, an empty white space opened up as the quality of a white goddess; of the new wholes ready to enter the red creative goddess phase.

Firs finger of Peloponnese

The westernmost Greek island is Othonoi. I see it in the shape of a small dragon with its head facing southeast. It appeared to my senses as an island of joy and permission to live. I experienced it as a space of powerful impulse for the new: when old ways of life are left behind, the opportunity for new ways of understanding, communicating, acting opens up. Othonoi is sending us a message that it is possible to come into contact with the possibilities of new possibilities of dwelling and consequently to see and realize the (not-yet-embodied) potentials.

As a symbol of the quality of the island, a being with arms outstretched towards the sky (as an inverted symbol of peace or a tree) appeared in my vision.

The symbol of the quality for the whole of islands Paxos and Anti Paxos, which were next islands along our way, appeared to me in the form of a rhombus. With its sides, the rhombus opens a space of individual inner rest, of gathering within, introverted activity inside, which leads to the cleansing of outdated patterns, the clarification of desires and the formation of the intention-direction of life. As an earthquake of the inner world that gives birth to a new view, a new vision of the outer world and own individual role in it, preparing for a new path, a new cycle, and pointing to the natural rhythm of endless spiritual maturation.

The shape of the islands remain incomprehensible to me for now.

Zakynthos island awakened a range of emotions in me: from the confinement, impermeability and compression in a bag of consumerism and tourism, disconnection from the depths of the earth and the height of the sky, breathing hard due to the prevailing male principle and abuse of natural space, to the sincere contact with joyful nature in the interior of the island. In the centre of the valley in the island's middle, I sensed a spiral rising into the sky, energetically charged by four surrounding places on four sides of the island. It is strongly rising high in the sky but lacks grounding. The form of the island appeared to me as a being walking forward and looking back. And the quality of the island I recognized as knowledge to incorporate the ancestral wisdom into the present and keep it for descendants.

In the vast olive grove of a friend Dimitris Therianos(update21:film by Ida Glušič), I felt the joy and love of its cultivation. Each olive tree is connected invisibly with all others as a part of the whole, the last showing to me as the respiration system of one organism. Connecting with them, I felt the olive tree as a female tree and saw its unique feature: the olives dance! The old olive tree we last visited showed itself imbued with many times and periods. It radiated a particular mysticism, arousing awe. I experienced it as an archetype of ancestors, as a silent sage that regulates the life of an olive grove.

As a symbol of the quality of Zakynthos, a circle inside a rhombus appeared to me.

The Peloponnese peninsula has shown to me in the shape of a being with a tail that faces west, bringing in an energetic influence from the East. I felt it played the role of the centre of (primordial) life force (hara) in the Mediterranean, sending it into the wholeness through the “tail, legs and arms”. When I visualized myself in the middle of the Peloponnese, I felt strong forces from all sides, as if I were standing on a big draft, at the centre of an imbalance. It took a lot of effort to manage standing up straight. When I asked the Peloponnese about its readiness for the “new”, it was confused, perhaps even frightened, as it could not relate to the meaning of my question. Then Demeter appeared. She ritually outlined a circle around herself on the ground with the stick and hit hard in its middle. A strong spring rose from it and began to rain on the Peloponnese. Is this rain a message about the growth potential of something new?


Pylos lies on the outside of the left foot of the Peloponnese (1st toe of the Peloponnese). I experienced it in his comfortable, peaceful life, backed by prosperity present on all levels: an abundance of food, a year-round friendly climate, the absence of industry. In addition, the security of living is based on following the tradition and its successes, meaning that the question of the possibility of something new and different is unknown and never asked.

As a symbol of the quality of Pylos, the letter V appeared to me - the door of Gaia gifts into space.

In the village of Koroni, the feeling and view of the place and the port speaks to me of chaos, disorder, inaccessibility, loss of identity. I feel her ignorance of current changes in space and potentially new ways of living even more strongly than in Pylos.

As a symbol of the quality of the village, a spiral from earth to sky appeared to me.

I feel the primary energy potential of the left foot of the Peloponnese (1st toe of the Peloponnese) in the opening from the earth to the sky. Here, Gaia messages and qualities are brought into the light. However, this flow is being obstructed by poor grounding. Space is not present in the actual moment but stays in its closed world, with the heavy energies of struggle, fear and lack of freedom from the past. The space sleeps.

 

I feel the cape of the tail of the Peloponnese (2nd toe of the Peloponnese) as an energy pillar that expands horizontally into the environment and thus connects, collects and balances the qualities of two neighbouring capes of the Peloponnese (left and right feet of the Peloponnese). The presence of the element of air is strong, and here, for the first time since my arrival in Greece, I feel the imposing, breathtaking power of the rocks - compared to the left leg of the Peloponnese, I feel here in its tail much more primal strength.

This space is a space of a dragon of air. Along with this quality which is an aspect of the primordial strengths of Gaia, this space also breathes with the cosmos, with spiritual guidance and the influx of new possibilities of incarnations.

In the village of Porto Kagyo (on the right side of the tail of the Peloponnese - 2nd finger of the Peloponnese, we find the chapel of St. Nicholas. I read his gesture of the crossed upward index and middle fingers, and under the latter connected to the thumb and fourth finger, depicted on all the icons, as the wisdom of the embodiment of one's spiritual potential. Balancing one's fire and water quality brings the realization of spiritual potential (connection of thumb and earth quality).

As a symbol of Porto Kagyo quality, I saw a thread that descends from heaven to earth, here fertilizes with the message of incarnation, and returns to the cosmos in an arc, gifting the cosmos with new information (a new record in Akasha).

The next stop on the Peloponnese was Gytheio (deeper in the bay between Peloponnese's tail and the right foot - between its 2nd and 3rd toes, on the right side). As I connected with the city, a white goddess spinning in a circle appeared to me in the hill above it. It is not in full potential, but it does not sleep completely (like most of the Peloponnese we sailed by then).

As a symbol of Gytheio quality, I saw a spiral extending horizontally into space.

Near Gytheio is the village of Skala. In its nearness, we visited the Southern Lights, an agro-farming project. I felt their collaboration with plants as an attitude of respect for the earth. I felt the plants in their freedom, joy, contentment. They form a golden ray net that opens into space and sends out new information. The place is grounded, with Gaia and Pan participating.

I felt the impulse from the cosmos in the space of the Southern Lights project is weaker. It might be due to poor free-flowing energy, perhaps because the community rules restrict the freedom of life choices of the participants. I strongly feel the potential for developing new ways of working with plants - plants with plants and people with plants. However, its realization requires the development of individual responsible freedom that supports, preserves and enriches the well-being of the whole - in the relationship between the community people. Only as free and horizontally distributed does the energy for embodying the new have free flow at all levels.

At the entrance to the Southern Lights project grows an old eucalyptus tree. As a key, I received a purse with gold coins there, representing the potential of the project to enrich the world with knowledge about the coexistence of man and nature, to bring new and upgrade old knowledge into a different, for this time relevant whole. The realization of this depends on the freedom of creativity, on one side for nature, on the other side for community members who, by making their own decisions, cocreate with their unique contribution.

The Southern Lights project embodies the primary potential of the Peloponnese region: agro-agriculture as an intuitive exploration into the ways of encouraging forest creation by planting and combining plants grows out of respect for nature and connection with spiritual guidance embodied in new ideas of connecting and collaborating with nature. Thus, it is possible to create a new whole (white goddess) for further co-creation.

Also, we visited the land of the emerging farm of Panos and Kali, active members of the Southern Lights project. At the site of the emerging plantation, I saw a tree of life growing, and at the site of a future living-house, I felt a strong presence of the element of water.

I felt the connection of both lands with the energy threads.

Kayres village lies in the interior of the Peloponnese, at the foot of Mount Parnon at an altitude of 950m. From the Karyes name was born the name Kayratide (translation: young girls from Karyes), which originally meant local priestess dancers who every year danced a local ritual dance in honour of Artemide Karyatide. Later, this name came into use for all female sculpture supporting pillars (the most notable is Erectus on the Acropolis).

I felt Kayres as a yin area with feminine quality. We visited 2500-year-old plane trees, strong earthly giants and at the same time ethereal ones, as if invisibly touching the sky. In addition to the wisdom they carry, Ent also conveyed me their grief over neglect and forgetfulness from the people. The reason for this cessation of the coexistence of man and nature, the plane trees whispered to me, is the predominance of reason and its non-recognition of nature as a conscious being.

In front of the plane trees is the spring where the temple of Artemis once stood. I felt space as a strong golden pillar of energy connecting earth and sky.


Our way back to Gytheio high Taygetos mountains followed us all the way, with the highest peak Prophet Elijah (2405m). When I connected with him, I felt him kissing the sky.

Energetically, I experienced the right foot of the Peloponnese (3rd toe of the Peloponnese) as connected to the cosmos and the element of air. On its cape, there is the village of Profitis Illias. I experienced it as a peaceful and pure village, in harmony and silence. This silence was too quiet, communicating not of living in peace, but of sleep and isolation, of living in its rhythm and time, far removed from world reality. Here, again, I met a space that sleeps and knows nothing about the “new”.

Behind the village, there is a dragon-shaped mountain, rising boldly to the sky with its buttocks in the sea.

As a symbol of the quality of Profitis Illias, I saw a spiral descending from heaven to earth.

During our sailing to Crete, I first connected with the Peloponnese: the being of the Peloponnese thanked us and greeted us with an invitation to return. Demeter of the Peloponnese blessed us and sent us golden wheat. I then connected with Crete and felt the presence of Minoan culture and the culture of the (Neolithic) goddess.

We moored in Kissamos (former Castelli), a town in the westernmost bay of Crete. The request for a key dropped a golden anchor in my hands. When I connected with the island, it opened to me in quality that felt like some other time and origin and at the same time being in the present moment. Like a particular knowledge of the connection between the past and the present, where growth potential is coming from the old wisdom, upgraded for the present time. I felt Crete as an individual holon, grounded and unconditional. As a space of connecting hara chakra with heart chakra: a place where courageous insights, recognitions, getting to know oneself and decisions how to place oneself always include ancestors and tradition. I felt a space behind me - a connection to the causal worlds.



Connecting with the Crete being, a vague image of two feminine figures first appeared to be - a warrior and a Neolithic goddess -, as if the being was too weak to show herself clearly in her essence.

As a symbol of Crete, I saw golden threads in the shape of a pyramid-facing-up and a pyramid-facing-down. The threads ran only vertically. I got the impulse they also needed to run horizontally to connect Crete with the rest of Greece. By combing the threads horizontally and breathing back into causal spaces, bees appeared and began to fly around Crete. I asked Demeter of the Peloponnese to send the grain. Golden grain and bees met and connected on the way between the Peloponnese and Crete. Simultaneously, a Peloponnesian balance-organ woke up, moving around its axis and thus balancing the space of the Mediterranean. As if the connection of grain and bees - the Peloponnese and Crete - gave the balance-organ a power for restarting its life cycle. In this way, Crete presented to me like a womb of the Mediterranean.

After the exercises, the symbol of Crete also changed: from the point of meeting the golden threads of the lower and upper pyramid, a horizontal spiral of golden energy began to twist into space. There was also a change in the vision of the being of Crete: clearly, I saw a woman in a long golden dress with bull horns on her head, turning clockwise and sowing seeds all around her from the highest Cretan peak Psiloritis (2456m, Oros Idi mountain area).

Here in Crete, I felt an openness to the new for the first time in Greece.

Dear friend Zlatka, who hosted us for a few days, opened some exceptional natural spaces for us.           story about Zlatka 

Mouri is a village closest to a natural place called Island (Nisi) - its name comes from the fact that it is impossible to get anywhere from it, as there is a mountain on one side and a canyon on the other. I felt Island as a space unrelated to the notion of time we know; he lives in timelessness/omnipresence.

At the entrance to the place, there are ruins of a church, full of frescoes inside. From one of its remaining walls now grows an old carob tree. I felt the place as a place of Sofia/Christ presence, more precisely, as a place of meeting Sofia/Christ in oneself - with the potential of love, forgiveness and compassion for oneself. 

Near the village of Syrikari (Sirikari) is a forest of old chestnut trees. The energetic key for entering the place was a burgundy bag with stone arrows. I experienced the space as a place of healing, health and inner peace. The chestnut tree presented herself to me as a female and cosmic tree that brings cosmic energy into space in the form of silver rain.

From Zlatka place, we continued towards the east of Crete, towards the secrets of the carob.

In the central part of Crete, we visited places and people associated with reviving the importance of the carob tree. First, we met a 1000-years-old carob tree in the Rethymno region. As I stood in her circle, she immediately accepted me into a circle of friends, thus showing her as a tree that makes friends quickly and easily. I also felt carob as a woman’s tree. When I connected with her, I saw that she feeds on the direct sun energy she stores in the fruit: the carob is a golden tree. (WGO story :Coming Back to the Carob Trees)

Every new experience of Crete was slowly disclosing it to me as a place connected to roots and ancestors and at the same time connected to the cosmos. Translated to the human body, this speaks of the connection between hara (life force) and the heart (spiritual perception). This connection awakens the potential of passionate creation and living one’s truth, not forgetting the wisdom and knowledge of the past.

At one point, connecting with a being of Crete ignited a spark in my heart. At the same time, however, I felt pressure from above that prevented the spark from glowing into the embodiment. I intuitively connected it with the (rational) existential fear, which many people solve today by ceasing traditional (self-sufficient) ways of care, focusing on owning material things, consumerism and finding a comfortable life. This possession-based life approach has revealed to me as restricting the free life flow, and as a way that closes the heart to free intuitive experiences.

Above village Melidoxori (Melidochori) in a Heraklion region lives Kostas, a master grafter of carob trees. The space of his farm and the surrounding landscape is like a vessel in which the sun is bathing. Here, heaven and earth kiss and procreate. It is a powerful yin space of abundance and prosperity that gives, gives, gives. This landscape is the womb in a different sense than the place of Komolithi in western Crete: it is the granary of Crete, where Gaia openly gives herself to all beings and thus ensures their lives.

Here again, I experienced the carob as a tree with sun fruits, as food fertilizing life with the life energy of the sun, awakening the life force. Carob is like a mother: independent, self-sufficient, with the knowledge and strength to survive without additional watering, caring for others and making immediate friendships. Carob thrives in different soil types, protects the soil from erosion, can survive on winter amount of rain and protects the space from fire.

In addition to carob trees, Kostas’ farm also includes old black oak trees that grow around the estate. They complement each other energetically: carob as yin and black oak as yang. I saw the black oaks sending energy threads to the carob trees, thus connecting and grounding them into the holon of the space.

On Kostas’ holon, there is also a big rock with dragon quality. Eagles, sunbirds, nest there. This quality of eagle also lives in Kostas. Likewise, the sun of Gaia is vibrating in the joyful, passionate, sincere, unobstructed way of Kosts’ communication, speech, attitude and response to the trees and garden, and not to forget, even in his deep need for abundant hospitality and gifts to visitors. He is embodying this unconditional giving quality that is born in this landscape.

We crossed part of eastern Crete, the Lasithi region and part of central Crete, the Heraklion region, went past Agios Nikolaos, then along the local road from Elounda to Naples and finally towards the village of Tris Ekklisies (Three Churches) in the southern part of Crete. Landscapes opened up to me in the power of the elemental world and Sidhe.

Not far from the village Tris Ekklisies we visited an old carob forest, unique in the Mediterranean. In this dry and rocky landscape, I felt that the carob loves solitude, does not long for visitors. Even without the latter, it is present, complete and self-sufficient. Here I strongly felt Sidhe living next to people in their invisible reality of a parallel world. Hidden, they are waiting for the awakening of people, for their realization of nature as a conscious being ready to participate in co-creation.

On the way back from Crete to the Peloponnese, we stayed overnight on the island between them, Kythira. I felt it as an island of hospitality, tolerance, peace and lightness between the two powerful spaces of the Peloponnese and Crete. A being of the island appeared to me like a woman spinning with open arms, happy, content, smiling, reconciled to herself and all that is; integrating and caring for every being that comes along.

As a symbol of the quality of Kythira, sea waves appeared to me.

The main lesson of this travel through Greece I may condense in the sentence: "Instead, as an animal, let give ourselves a possibility to live as a plant." It comes from olive, chestnut and carob. I felt plants connect into one organism. They cooperate and support each other without fear of being left without free space and opportunities for life. They do not build cohesion on equality and through supporting the same paths, forms, characteristics, but on complementing, enriching and changing the whole by supporting differences. Fluidity and the freedom of growing each being/seed into its unique plant are encouraged. In this way is each time created a new unique whole. The interconnectedness and cooperation in nature become visible to the human heart because the heart connection recognizes the plant not as a dead thing for human management, but as a conscious being, open for cooperation and co-creation. The world of plants is teaching me that space truly lives in its potential only if its beings are interconnected and at the same time independent, sincerely supporting the well-being of the whole. For only as a part, they exist and are themselves able to grow.

The coexistence of natural space with people and people with people, seen and felt on this Greek trip, was often opposite of the latter. I felt the absence of integration replaced by fencing and isolating identities without being aware of the need for connection and cooperation. Above all, bare rational conception and action have once again proved to be the general activator of human oblivion of the natural (organic) way of coexistence lived by the plant world. View on monocultural cultivation of olives, planted geometrically in flat rows in an otherwise varied Cretan landscape, felt strongly unnatural. Trees of almond, carob, citrus fruit and other variety that once had their place among olive ones, have long been cut down. An experience of seeing monoculture olive groves, in reality, showed me the consequences of human recourse to primary rationality. The accumulation of individual property and the restriction of the free flow of energies at all levels causes instead of trust only reign of fear, instead of a varied and unmanageable horizon just a pure and monotonous vertical visibility.

Visited Greek islands mostly live and function as closed worlds. At the beginning of our journey, the inner seeing of the sea space of the Mediterranean, where we intended to sail, was revealed to me as connected with golden threads, which - as I can conclude now - remain hidden and unlived. Isolated - both spaces and people - thus lose the possibility of connecting into mutually supporting waves of a unique rhythm of exchanging experiences and creating something synergistically larger. And, does not the current state of the world encourage us to make such changes? 

This non-recognition of the whole, which is created by connecting different approaches, ideas and professions, I experience as an obstacle for opening new individual paths of understanding and working into the highest good of the whole, which means the highest best of each of its parts in its uniqueness.

The path I see is a balance of heart and mind in their authentic qualities and roles, offering humans a friendship and cooperation with nature, with Mother Gaia. I experience Gaia as already transforming and inviting people to recognize her by deviating from the old understanding of the world. Should we join her with confidence on the way to the new, despite not knowing what and how it will be? Human ignorance has no power to stop Gaia's changes, but it prevents them from seeing them and establishing an inner relationship with them.

And how did everything I experienced affect me? Due to the felt drowsiness, disbalance and absence of the space itself, I, a lover of Greece, was impressed by the sadness and awareness of the powerful changes that should take place. Powerful breakthroughs of the living presence of the space itself were too rare this time. As if human ignorance of the current state and unwillingness to make internal decisions about individual path have left a deep fog on the natural space and hidden from us its rebirth, its breathtaking beauty and strength. However, I also understand this “absence” of natural space feeling within me as an invitation and an incentive for change. These feelings of inconsistency did not silence my desire to explore even more deeply the spaces touched this time in their hiddenness. They also triggered my innerness for dissection and insight of everything that still needs to go into the process of transformation, forgiveness, and change, learning to be a student of the plant world.

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Released by MED Land project, June 2021 /story by Ivana Petan , photo/editing: BB;  

Posted by bojanb
a couple of years ago

ABOVE expectations..


2021 MED Land destinations were Peloponnese and Crete. Ivana Petan, Ida Glušič, Matej Michalec and BB were the team.

MEDLand 2021 Ivana, Maček, bb first days to the first Greek island

Maćek produced 5 WGO films about the trip and Storytelling encounters on the Peloponnese, all on MED Land >WGO 

BB did two main stories, and one together with Ida (yet to be published).

Ivana did report of her geomantic encounters with the beings of the places we stopped (yet to be published).

Ida was making WGO films, and she made the first one, a film with Dimitris Therianos, even before we meet, while waiting for us to pick her up! AND a special film for the main story about Zlatka from Crete (yet to be published).

The last MED Land trip in 2021, from Pylos (Peloponnese) to Stari Grad (Hvar island in the Adriatic) was above expectations.

We decided to postpone “the sailing back from Crete“ to our home port to the end of July, when all planed stories were done, but we still had a 1000 km long sailing trip to reach our home port on the island of Hvar in the Adriatic. We wanted to have additional time for this long trip and focus on yet another theme.

The theme I was longing for on our long trip back to our home port in the Adriatic was to observe, experience and communicate with elements, like waves, streams, winds ...

I could not get the promised crew till the 1st of October and left 16 days later than planned. I met our new crew member Iva here for the first time, when I picked her up with the car on the way to Split. From there, we continued by ferries to Ancona and Patras, and from there on by buses and taxis to the boat. Iva has never before on a sailing boat before, but she is a person strongly connected to nature, especially to Iceland, where she lives now.

There was over 80 NM from Peloponnese to Zakynthos island (main port Zante)  – and since I had to fix some things on the boat, we started late and it was already dark when we arrived at the main port of Zakynthos island.

VIDEO - Iva has never been on a sailing boat before! But in a few hours, she already confidently took over the rudder :-))

 


Jana Prepeluh, an artist from Slovenija, was the second team member, with her last sailing experience on Nalu, when we did our first research trip to Greece for the MED Land project in September 2016! Jana was waiting for us on Zakynthos and spent some time with the Therianos familly.

It was a full moon day when the weather started to turn unstable, windy, rainy, stormy, forecast for several days to come! Uh-oh, what to do? I missed the super stable sunny and warm weather. I knew very well that if the weather changes around full moon, it means it will stay unstable ... And indeed it was.

After two, three hours of sleep in the port of Zante, a strong noise of the boat hitting the pier woke me up! It was a serious situation because of the very strong wind and big waves in the port. Luckily, I found some big plastic drums on the road and tied them between the boat and the pier. Next thing was to find a better place. In two hours, I found a better place, but in the meantime, the wind picked up much more! It was impossible for Iva and me to push Nalu away from the pier. At that very moment, early in the morning, young strong men appeared on the pier and helped us to do the maneuver! The wind became even stronger, and we had to stay in Zante for two more days and hope for a one-day gap with less wind, just enough to reach Ithaca. Jana joined us in Zante, but because the boat was moving so much, she got sea sick already in the port … Not many would be willing to go out sea sick, but Jana, as strong as she is, did it. And all the way for the next four days, she did everything to be positive and overcome sea-sickness . 

..two more days in Zante..in a safest part of the port..

Marketplace in Zante

Late in the night, in strong rain and wind, we reached Vathy, the main port of Ithaca. The port was empty, but a man approached us, greeting us: ”I remember you! Yes, here you can tie the boat, and electricity and water are free – a leftover of previous boat, take it, and welcome!“ On Ithaca, we had a one-day stop to meet with Leila again (MED Land story).

She always inspires me! What she did and how she lives now on her farm, full of experiments, will be in the upcoming update of her story.

The next port was Gaios on the island of Paxos, and the already normal procedure was to tie the boat in heavy rain and strong wind. The early morning ritual was to get some diesel, which happened in15 minutes ... ”Welcome, you are here again!”, with a big smile from the diesel truck that drives through the port to fill up boats. We had to take of as soon as possible, since we had another long trip to reach Othonoi island – the last Greek island before Otranto, the passage between Albania and Italy, and AGAIN with only one-day gap of less winds on the route to reach the destination.

North of Othonoi, we had to wait again, but it was a must-stop anyway to meet Yiannis Katehis (MED Land story) , who also  became a harbor master, apart from being the vice president of three islands. He is a hyperactive activist and a never-ending inspiration for me. My brother, I could say ... He spent with us one wonderful day, in his studio, with his mother serving us the best pasta and with long, great conversations that we had in a coffee shop. The update will tell more!